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2010 valedictorian Ana Silva recognized for outstanding improvisation by Alliance of Latinx Theater Artists.

COURTESY PHOTO - Rex Putnam High School graduate Ana Silva performs improvisational comedy through various national theatre companies.Ana Silva, the 2010 valedictorian of Rex Putnam High School, has landed a job in an unusual profession — as a comedian.

After leaving her home in Oak Grove, Silva graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy LA/NY. She has since taken improv classes through iO Chicago and the Second City Conservatory.

Silva won an award in 2019 for outstanding improvisation from the Alliance of Latinx Theater Artists. She was in the cast of the Second City's "She the People" and currently understudies for Second City's National Touring Company.

Silva took some time off from being funny to answer questions from her hometown newspaper.

How did you get involved in Second City?

Silva: "After college, I moved back home to Portland to figure out my next step. I started performing regularly at Curious Comedy Theater, where I fell in love with improv. I decided to visit Chicago to Ana Silvatake the summer intensives at the Second City, and auditioned for their Conservatory program while I was there. I got into the Conservatory, moved to Chicago a month later and the rest is history!"

What are your favorite aspects of being part of the group?

Silva: "If you told me in high school that I'd get paid to make my friends laugh, I would've thought you'd gone totally bonkers! But it's true! Every show we do is pure joy because we're there to make sure that we, and our audience members, have a wonderful time."

What are the challenges of performing in an improv show online?

Silva: "Improv is a collaborative art form that uses audience participation to translate into instantaneous performances by the players. Our incredible team of technicians, directors and performers have found a way to take the spontaneous elements of a live performance and translate them into an online platform that keeps the heart of what we do."

Find out more

Silva is the star of the web series "Diagnosis: Boring" and a writer/performer with the new web series "In-Diana." You can see her improvise with her teams: Matt Damon Improv, Baby Wants Candy and Improvised Jane Austen. Follow her @theAnaSilvaShow.

Second City's next three performances are Jan. 23, Feb. 20 and March 20. More information can be found at secondcity.com.


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